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Increased plasma leptin as a novel predictor for psychopathological depressive symptoms in chronic schizophrenia
  1. Jinjie Xu1,2,3,
  2. Yumei Jiao1,
  3. Mengjuan Xing1,
  4. Yezhe Lin1,
  5. Yousong Su1,
  6. Wenhua Ding1,
  7. Cuizhen Zhu1,
  8. Yanmin Peng1,
  9. Dake Qi1,4 and
  10. Donghong Cui1,2,5
  1. 1 Shanghai Mental Health Center, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, School of Medicine, Shanghai, China
  2. 2 Shanghai Key Laboratory of Psychotic Disorders, Shanghai, China
  3. 3 Beijing Anding Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China
  4. 4 Division of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada
  5. 5 Brain Science and Technology Research Center, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China
  1. Correspondence to Dr Donghong Cui; manyucc{at}


Background Depressive symptoms are often seen in schizophrenia. The overlap in presentation makes it difficult to distinguish depressive symptoms from the negative symptoms of schizophrenia. The adipokine leptin was found to be altered in both depression and schizophrenia. There are few studies focusing on the prediction of leptin in diagnosis and evaluation of depressive symptoms in schizophrenia.

ObjectiveAims To assess the plasma leptin level in patients with schizophrenia and its relationships with depressive symptoms.

Methods Cross-sectional studies were applied to (1) compare the levels of plasma leptin between schizophrenia (n=74) and healthy controls (n=50); and (2) investigate the relationship between plasma leptin levels and depressive subscores.

Results (1) Plasma leptin levels were significantly higher in patients with schizophrenia than in healthy controls. (2) Correlation analysis revealed a significant negative association between leptin levels and the depressed factor scores on the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS). (3) Stepwise multiple regression analyses identified leptin as an influencing factor for depressed factor score on PANSS.

Conclusion Leptin may serve as a predictor for the depressive symptoms of chronic schizophrenia.

  • leptin
  • depressive symptoms
  • chronic schizophrenia

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  • JX and YJ contributed equally.

  • Authors’ contributions DC and DQ were responsible for study design and revising. JX, MX, YL, YS and WD were responsible for clinical data collection and lab experiments. JX, YJ and DQ managed the literature search and the statistical analyses. JX drafted the manuscript. DC, DQ, YP and CZ participated in revising the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

  • Funding This study was supported by grants from the National Key R&D Program of China (2017YFC0909200), the National Science Foundation of China (NSFC; 81171266, 81271481, 81671336 and 81500976), the China and National Key Research and Development Program (2017YFC0909200), the Shanghai Key Laboratory of Psychotic Disorders (13dz2260500), the Shanghai Municipal Planning Commission of Science and Research Fund (20154Y0194) and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (project grant PJT-156116).

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Informed consent Obtained.

  • Ethics approval Institutional Review Board of Shanghai Mental Health Center.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement No additional data are available.

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